Film and TV

Goodbye Today Show: Your A.M. TV Problems Solved

Now that Meredith Vieira is officially off The Today Show, you might be looking for something new to tune into as you sip your 7 a.m. coffee. I have been a regular The Today Show watcher for years, mostly for Matt and Meredith's tête-à-tête, that "will they, won't they" factor that we haven't seen since Moonlighting. Do they hate each other, or will they summer in the Hamptons together?

I tried to watch the rest of last week without her, but couldn't bring myself to do it. It's not so much that Vieira was the best thing to hit the a.m. talk show circuit; it's just that Anne Curry is the worst. I tuned to the CBS Early Show, but the anchors are too young and pseudo-hip. I like my newscasters old and worldly. For some reason, GMA doesn't do it for me either, although I can't pinpoint why.

So last week, I clicked around to find out what else is out there at 7 a.m. to view while you deodorize.

Here are few alternatives to The Today Show.

TBS - Saved By the Bell Nothing puts that spring in your step while you iron your chinos as a good morality play staring Zach Morris et al. If you are really lucky, maybe you'll catch one of those rare "we are real teen" episodes like when Jessie becomes addicted and then kicks a "caffeine pill" habit, or the rise and inevitable fall of the gang's band "The Zack Attack," as told by Casey Kasem.

Fox - Fox 26 News In terms of morning news now, Fox is it. While you are missing out on the national beat, you get your Houston news fix early in the day, letting you spend the rest of your work day amusing your co-workers with stories of local robberies and fires. Hey, it's 100 percent local news and no other station can say that in the 7 a.m. slot.

VH1 - Jump Start It is a rare occurrence on the music network that once played music regularly to find music... regularly. Seems that VH1 likes to hide their music videos at an hour in which they think no one is watching. Caught ya, VH1! You do still play music programming.

Houston Media Source - Democracy Now! If you can deal with Amy Goodman's monotone delivery and oft-untamed hair, then the independent daily news program Democracy Now! might be a good choice for your morning fix. Don't expect anything uplifting or non-confrontational, though, this reporting prides itself on being 100 percent free from any advertising or corporate support, and you can tell. It is certainly filled with interesting stories you may not hear anywhere else, but that doesn't always make you want to slap on a happy face and hit the freeways like a good Al Roker story about bacon does.

A&E - Sopranos Nothing says good morning like the Bada Bing! strip bar and some serious whacking.

KETH- It's Supernatural There are a few different programs in the morning that veer toward the religious side, and I am totally fine with that. However, none of these shows have an opening like Sid Roth's It's Supernatural.

Fuel - The Captain and Casey Show If you're lucky enough to have Fuel TV, this early morning anti-ESPN show is a good alternative to Sports Center, focusing mostly on the underbelly world of skateboarding. Set up like Jimmy Kimmel in your grandma's basement, the guys cover a plethora of randomness from monkeys to metal.

Various listings - Infomercials If you can't find anything to watch in the 7a.m. time slot, maybe its not television as much as it is you! You need to better yourself and half of the cable and shopping nets can help you out. Maybe you feel like your arms are flabby, your body-hair is getting unruly, or you need to cook an egg really, really quickly, quicker than you could ever have before; have no fear, there is an infomercial on in the morning for you. Watch the hard-bodies on the P90x commercial explain how much better their life is now, while you cram an 800-calorie Sara Lee muffin in your mouth on your way to your 9 to 5.

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Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig